EC in the COVID Era
The rapid spread of COVID-19 has highlighted fundamental gaps in the American healthcare system, weaknesses in our social fabric, and striking racial and economic disparities. Access to reproductive healthcare is as essential as ever, yet the pandemic layers new barriers upon existing challenges. Now more than ever, emergency contraception (EC) is an important option for individuals who want to prevent pregnancy on their own terms. Having EC on hand before it is needed can make that a possibility any time, but particularly during this crisis. In this fact sheet, we describe the importance of EC during this crisis and recommend strategies for obtaining a supply of EC pills to keep on hand before it is needed.
EC for Transgender Patients
Healthcare providers who offer care for patients of reproductive age should be ready to answer questions about EC for transgender and nonbinary patients. Pregnancy is possible for any individual with a uterus and ovary(ies) who has receptive penis-in-vagina sex with partners who produce sperm, regardless of gender identity. Patients who are amenorrheic due to testosterone use may be surprised that they may be at risk for pregnancy. Transgender and nonbinary people deserve patient-centered access to the full range of reproductive healthcare options, including EC. Healthcare providers have an important role to play in offering supportive, non-judgmental, and compassionate care. This fact sheet addresses medical and social-emotional aspects of EC for transgender and nonbinary patients.
Providing Hormonal Contraception after Use of EC Pills
Until recently, clinical guidelines recommended immediate start of ongoing hormonal contraception after use of any EC pills to reduce the future risk of pregnancy. However, recent evidence suggests that providing progestin-containing contraceptives after ulipristal acetate (UPA) EC may reduce the efficacy of UPA EC. In this extensively reviewed fact sheet, we describe the evidence, discuss outstanding questions, and offer recommendations for providers.
EC Efficacy and Weight
Recent regulatory changes have raised the question of whether ECPs may be less effective for users with higher body weights. Some data show that both LNG (sold in the US as Plan B One-Step®, Take Action™, and others) and UPA (sold in the US as ella®) may be less effective for individuals with higher body weight, although LNG may lose effectiveness at a lower weight threshold than UPA. However, there is significant disagreement about whether the data supporting these changes are definitive. ASEC has evaluated the available evidence, and recommends that no one should be refused or discouraged from using EC based on weight. Read more in our statement.
Emergency Contraception: A guide for Pharmacies and Retailers
In partnership with the Birth Control Pharmacist, this factsheet highlights important information about emergency contraception, purchasing restrictions, why it's importance to stock LNG-EC, and the available FDA approved emergency contraceptives. Para una versión en español, haga clic aquí.